Will it fly?
The Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapons system ever developed. It is plagued by design flaws and cost overruns. It flies only in good weather. The computers that run it lack the software they need for combat. No one can say for certain when the plane will work as advertised. This Vanity Fair article investigates.
posted by wilful
on Sep 18, 2013 -
One year ago, America was gripped with controversy over the Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, who claimed he was shooting in self-defense under the "Stand Your Ground" statute, while many believe the shooting, subsequent police inaction, and even the court actions had racial undertones
- given Martin was black and Zimmerman Hispanic. Now, furor somewhat quieter, the trial is beginning, with startling (and occasionally hilarious) presentations and demands from each side, including cellphone photos and texts from Martin's phone
showing drugs and someone holding a gun, which the defense claims the prosecutors withheld
, a list of words
Zimmerman's attorneys want not to be used during the trial, which include any mention of racial profiling, and a (rejected) request that all 500 potential jurors be sequestered until their selection. [more inside]
posted by corb
on Jun 13, 2013 -
"McPhee describes two things: how Switzerland requires military service from every able-bodied male Swiss citizen—a model later emulated and expanded by Israel—and how the Swiss military has, in effect, wired the entire country to blow in the event of foreign invasion. To keep enemy armies out, bridges will be dynamited and, whenever possible, deliberately collapsed onto other roads and bridges below; hills have been weaponized to be activated as valley-sweeping artificial landslides; mountain tunnels will be sealed from within to act as nuclear-proof air raid shelters; and much more
posted by vidur
on Jun 20, 2012 -
Who was the worst defender in the history of baseball? A commenter in a baseball-fever thread compiles a list of the bottom 100 career dWAR figures of all time
-- in other words, the 100 players who cost their teams the most wins with the glove. (Joe Posnanski on the WAR metric
, for those unfamiliar with it.) The list is an interesting mix of players whose bats allowed them to stay in the game for years despite terrible glovework (Bernie Williams, Manny Ramirez, Dave Winfield) and players who were so bad in the field that they managed to rack up a lot of negative dWAR in shorter careers (Chris Gomez, Dean Palmer.) Toby "Stone Fingers" Harrah is #14 with a -10.9 dWAR. Dick "Dr. Strangeglove" Stuart just misses at -6.1. Some active players have a chance to finish high on the list: Ty Wigginton
is only 33 and has already bumbled away enough balls in 2011 to "improve" his ranking from 24th to 15th.
Worst of all time? No, it's not the Captain -- Derek Jeter is #2 on the all time list with -13.4 dWAR. Can you guess the "winner"?
posted by escabeche
on Aug 30, 2011 -
Fresh on the heels of Lockheed Martin's delivery
of the first production F-35 to the USAF, you might be wondering how much it actually costs. It depends on who you ask.
Blackfive takes a crack at it
, prompting a rather snippy response
from Bill Sweetman over at Ares. Throw in additional commentary
and a rebuttal
, and head down the rabbit hole into the wonderful world of defense acquisition.
posted by kjars
on May 17, 2011 -
How two American kids became big-time weapons traders
- "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via
; previously on arms contractors
posted by kliuless
on Mar 21, 2011 -
Duck and Cover!
There are many aspects of the Civil Defense program that may seem funny today, but the period after World War II was a very scary time. Civil defense officials and volunteers during that time were very serious about their work and I believe they deserve respect for their efforts. They rendered emergency services after natural and man-made disasters and would have had an impossible task had there ever been a nuclear war.
This virtual museum is dedicated to the Civil Defense and emergency workers of the United States who worked to protect the public from nuclear attack.
posted by Ruthless Bunny
on Oct 27, 2009 -
Flash Tower Defense goodness. Neat little rpg/upgrading touches in between maps. Lots of maps with some epic bosses thrown in every once in a while. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal
on Jun 14, 2008 -